04 April 2013

The Accidental One-Car Family

If you had asked me a year ago if we could be a one-car family, I would have laughed in your face. Before Nate and I had kids, we were happily a one-car couple. But then we had kids, we both worked and the logistics just didn't work out. Benny and Lila have always been at different daycare locations. Nate had a 15-mile commute and my 6-mile commute wouldn't work on a bike due to drop off and pick up and getting to work at a decent time.

Our 1997 Volvo, purchased when I was about 7 months preggers with Benny.

Fast forward a year. So many amazing and mundane changes have impacted our commutes (and, truthfully, our lives). Nate accepted a job downtown - a 4-mile commute. I largely work from home and can ride to almost every meeting I schedule. This week, Lila started at Benny's pre-school and it's only two blocks away from the elementary school. So, when our Volvo station wagon's battery died last week, it wasn't the end of the world. And when we couldn't fix it because we didn't have time, we just kept pushing buying a new battery back.

Yesterday, Nate suggested that we move the Volvo to the alley so we don't get any tickets when street sweeping starts. I agreed. And just like that, we're a one (working) car family. In the past week and a half, we have driven the car a total of three times. Nate has been taking the bus or riding his bike to work and I've been able to ride every single day.

I'm not sure how long this arrangement will last, but it feels good for now!

6 comments:

Bobbie said...

I love being a one-car family! Before T was born, I argued that we should get a new car (ours is not the easiest for loading/unloading kids), but I think Paul wants to wait until it completely kicks the bucket. We've even tossed the idea of being a no-car family, but I don't think I'm prepared to let go just yet!

Sara Struckman said...

Bobbie, we had a two-door Civic until Lila was born (in addition to the Volvo). It wasn't ideal for kids, but it worked. Once we had Lila, a two-door car was not practical (or even usable). I had wanted to keep the Civic until it died. Ideally, I want to get rid of our SUV (I hate admitting that we even have one!) and get another sedan with low gas mileage. It's always a work in progress. So cool that you guys can do the one-car thing!

Ann Wyse said...

I think it's totally doable to be a one car family in Denver, because it IS so bike-able! (We made did it for 3.5 years.) I'm sure you'll make it a good while, too. It definitely helps when the stars of work commute and daycare align!

Ironically, I'm sitting in the car workshop right now, and sighing about the 4 hours of my day being eaten up by repairs....

Sending you an email soon!

Sara Struckman said...

Ann, I've been impressed with your transportation stories. Super impressed that you could go without a car for so long with young kiddos. Car repairs suck, which is why we're in this "predicament" in the first place!

Melissa @ HerGreenLife said...

We went to one car three-and-a-half years ago. I'm so glad we did it before we had a kid, because I think it would be harder to convince myself to do it now. But we're totally making it work, without all that much effort.

I'd be tempted to take the dead battery as an opportunity to try the one-car life!

Sara Struckman said...

I love hearing from all the one-car families! Makes me realize it's totally do-able. You all are inspirations!